Mark Memmott

The list below is not a complete record of names we've misspelled in one way or another on more than one occasion. And it's not being shared because we're more worried about these names than about others.

In June, we put a spotlight on the number of mistakes we make and set a goal to cut them in half by October.

We haven't gotten worse.

But the pace – 100 or so corrections per month – hasn't slowed. The types of mistakes we most often make haven't changed. They include:

  • Misspelled names.
  • Mistaken locations.
  • Messed up titles.
  • Miscalculated numbers.
  • Mangled histories.

Our coverage yesterday (and days before and surely in days to come) of the news surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination has been excellent. Thank you.

No one here wants to do anything that would raise questions about NPR's work – which brings us back to a topic we've addressed before.

Social media.

From our Ethics Handbook [bold added for emphasis]:

In a headline and at least one on-air reference we have said that Christine Blasey Ford accuses Brett Kavanaugh of "attempted sexual assault."

The word "attempted" does not belong there. What she alleges happened would be a sexual assault, not an attempt at one.

Where "attempted" could fit is in references to something Ford's attorney has said — that her client believes it was an "attempted rape."

When anyone – including publishers, sources or other media outlets — asks to rebroadcast, reprint or post something we've produced, the request must go through our "permissions" department for legal vetting. This rule also applies if you're writing a book and want to include work you've previously done for NPR.

The process and a link to NPR's online permissions form are posted here. There's an email address as well:

The letter containing her allegation about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh did not come from an anonymous person. She signed it. So we should not refer to it as an "anonymous letter" or to her account as an "anonymous allegation." Instead, as we have done most times, we should describe the circumstances. She contacted her local member of Congress and then Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and asked that they keep her name confidential.

When interviewing officials who have left the White House about their time with the Trump administration or current issues involving the administration, it is important that we ask whether they signed non-disclosure agreements covering their work and what they can say about the president.

Columbo* was known for saying "just one more thing."

We seem to have adopted "before I let you go" as a go-to way of asking one last question.

A tip from a "Memmo" reader led to a search today of NPR archives. The phrase "before I let you go" produced 820 results; 90 were heard in just the past year.

Broken down by show, All Things Considered is far ahead: 284 results. Morning Edition had only promised freedom 107 times.

Quite a few folks have joined NPR or switched roles since we wrote in 2015 that there are "No Exceptions: Clips With Offensive Language Must Be Vetted." They aren't the only staffers who should know what follows, of course.

Here are the key points [with a few tweaks] from that post:

The Two-Way previously explained the difference between "lying in state," "lying in repose" and "lying in honor."